I’ve recently switched my laptop from Windows XP to Ubuntu (about 4 months ago) because of all of the great things I’ve been hearing about Linux and Ubuntu. When I first switched, I was weary about how complex it might be and what kind of challenges I might encounter trying to do common tasks. To be honest, if I didn’t have a friend that knew how to run Linux via command line or the GUI, I would have abandoned my quest for Linux knowledge. Its not that Ubuntu was all that hard to use, it just that it was DIFFERENT.
Maybe this is just a sign of age (i’m only 22) or maybe I just grew too attached to XP. I’m guessing its the latter of the two. But once I got l the ittle things ironed out, like installing the correct flash package through synaptic package manager (I originally downloaded a flash package that blocked all flash objects on webpages, which pissed me off!), Ubuntu began to grow on me. For the record, I’m am still using XP on my XPS410 desktop mainly for compatibility and as a reference (I’m a computer tech).
It ran smoothly, quickly and rarely froze. Some of the features that I liked:
Graying out of windows
When a program freezes or takes longer to respond than normal, the window will turn gray. I find this to be a nice feature mainly because it lets you know that something is hung-up in the program. Whereas in Windows when you click something you and it takes a while to load, you’re not sure whether it froze or is running slowly. And I know from experience if you try to click a frozen window it just whites out and you have a hell of a time closing it.
Synaptic Package Manager
This handy little tool pretty much allows you to download and install almost every program, plugin, etc… that is meant for Ubuntu. Its really simple, just open it up, search for what you want, download, and install. Its a pretty sweet deal!
Everything is free! For you who do not know, Ubuntu can be downloaded free of charge here! Simply download the ISO file and burn it to a CD and viola! You’re good to go.
If you’re still weary about whether or not you want to make the switch to Ubuntu, you can try it out without installing it on your computer. Just put the Ubuntu CD into your computer and restart and boot from the CD. Ubuntu will then ask you for a language and whether or not you want to try it out or install it.